Brandywine’s Winning Streak Ends At Hazleton

Fiona Warren
Fiona Warren

HAZLETON, Pa. -- The Penn State Brandywine softball team saw its 10-game winning streak come to an end as the Lions dropped a pair of games at Penn State Hazleton on Saturday afternoon. Hazleton escaped with a 6-5 victory in the opener and claimed a 5-1 victory in the nightcap.

Game One: Penn State Hazleton 6, Penn State Brandywine 5

Brandywine trailed by four runs entering the sixth inning before rallying, but the Lions' comeback came up just short.

Alyssa Sullivan's (Pennsburg, Pa./Upper Perkiomen) second double of the game and an error put two runners in scoring postition with no outs in the sixth. Hazleton recorded the first out of the frame on a strikeout, but Haley Grossi (Monmouth Junction, N.J./South Brunswick) and Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) came through with back-to-back RBI singles, scoring Sullivan and Fiona Warren (Schwenksville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) to bring the score to 6-4.

The seventh inning started the same way for the Lions after Rachel Cherubini (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) doubled to lead off an and error allowed the first two batters to reach safely. However, Brandywine managed only one run when Cherubini scored on a wild pitch and the Lions' rally came up one run short.

Brandywine led 2-0 after one inning on back-to-back RBI doubles by Sullivan and Warren, but Hazleton struck for four runs, three of which were unearned, in the third inning to take the lead for good.

Cherubini and Sullivan both tallied two hits and scored twice, while Velez also collected a pair of hits. Cara Fabiano (Bristol, Pa./Bristol) took the loss in the circle after allowing five runs, only one of which was earned, and striking out one in three innings. Taylor Baron (Chester Springs, Pa./Downingtown East) limited Hazleton to one run during the final three frames.

Game Two: Penn State Hazleton 5, Penn State Brandywine 1

Arianna Segich (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) bunted for a single and scored on an error to even the score at 1-1 in the third inning, but that is all the runs Brandywine would get in game two.

Samantha Varela's two-run home run in the bottom of the third was the difference for Hazleton, which added two insurance runs in the sixth.

The Lions stranded seven runners on base, including four in scoring position, against Varela. Warren posted two of Brandywine's five hits and stole a base, while Segich stole her third base of the afternoon, upping her total to 39 this season.

Brandywine and Hazleton now sit in a tie for first place in the PSUAC East Division at 6-2 after splitting the season series. Each team has four conference games remaining.

Brandywine (13-13, 6-2 PSUAC) returns home to face Stratford University on Tuesday at 1:00 pm.